The Vegan ChewChoo

and its many eccentricities


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Happy Thanksgivakkah

This week has been awesome. I can’t even remember all that we’ve done, but it’s been filled with friends, fun and laughter. Kesha and Oliver arrived on Tuesday and miraculously brought some warm(er) weather with them! We’ve been exploring new restaurants and new areas of town, and even managed to stay out till the bars closed one night. It’s so fun to see the city you live in from a fresh perspective! We had a blast prepping for, and hosting a 13 person Thanksgiving dinner. Our fridge is so full of leftovers that it’s really overwhelming to open our fridge. You never know what mysteries the aluminum foil holds! 

I finished my first crocheted blanket, and I’m really happy with how it came out. I was going for a real home-madey look. This is a Christmas present for my nephew, Kai. I hope he (and his Momma and Daddy) like it! I only used yarn that I already had, and it felt good to lighten the load in my yarn bag. Dulcinea helped me out by testing all the squares. She says they’re squishy and warm. 

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We made a giant bed in our room to accommodate our guests:

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Hanukkah candle lighting, Mayfield Park, Thanksgiving prep, dinner, and the aftermath! 🙂

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(Kesha is excited about the huge peacock roosting above her head)

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This year I’m thankful for: dishwashers, old friends, new friends, taking risks, new adventures, family, and delicious vegan food.

I thought it was really great that only 5 out of the 13 people at our dinner were vegan, but everyone was willing to go out on a culinary limb and try their hand at cooking a vegan meal. I really appreciated it, and was so happy everyone came and kicked off our first Austin Thanksgiving in style! 

The all important food list:

2 tofurkeys, stuffing, mashed potatoes, mashed turnip, gravy, sweet potato latkes with cranberry chutney and applesauce, kale salad, green bean casserole, 2 pumpkin pies, apple crisp w/ french vanilla ice cream, avocado and caramelized onion crostinis, quinoa salad, chocolate raspberry cake, sweet potato casserole, chocolate chip cookies, roasted vegetable medley, cranberry jelly, southern punch, spiked apple cider, and egg nog! YUM! 

 

 

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Meltdown: Commence

Psych! Actually feeling pretty dandy despite the frigid ridiculous weather that has descended upon Austin this past week. Currently 36 degrees and chance of snow tonight! Bah! But it’s all good, because I’ve spent the last two days hanging out at home wearing fleece-lined leggings, with the heat on,  candles lit, watching Band of Brothers, crocheting, cooking, eating, and even a little dancing. I made cupcakes the other night and made the boys each do a dance to a song of my choosing as payment for one cupcake. Ha! I hung out with kittens at APA yesterday morning and otherwise haven’t even stepped outside my front door for two days straight. Maybe three! 

Had a fun and eventful week. I honestly don’t remember what I did Monday and Tuesday..oh wait, we went to trivia on Monday. Anyway, Will, Grant, Erica and I had another “Wild Wednesdays” adventure, and this time we went to Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Dad- you would totally love this place! Home to two endangered bird species (golden cheeked warbler? Is that a thing?) and someone else…can’t remember. Anywho- it was really pretty and we had a great time. 

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On Thursday, Grant, Kate and I went to the Alamo Drafthouse double-feature Hunger Games 1 and 2. It was sooooo good! Man, I love Jennifer Lawrence, I love those books, and love love love the movies, too! 

We have lots to look forward to this week as well. The arrival of Kesha and Oliver on Tuesday, and we’re hosting a whopping 13 person Thanksgiving dinner. Should be a blast!! 


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There She Goes Ranting Again

Ok, normally I would pride myself on being fairly open to peoples’ choices and actions, but there is one thing that is so damn ridiculous that something has to be said. I literally (to use the new dictionary meaning) can’t believe that smoking cigarettes in public spaces is still legal ANYWHERE. 1995 called and they want their stupidity back! Texas (and the rest of the South) get your shit together! If you want to smoke in your car, at your house, or anywhere else where you’re alone or only with other smokers, by all means, please feel free to slowly kill yourself, but to knowingly force poison into the bodies of other people is …is…..barbaric! It would be like someone sitting at an open air cafe and emitting high concentrations of carbon monoxide so that everyone else had to breathe it in. That would be absurd, but smoking is basically the same thing. In fact, I’d rather breathe carbon monoxide because at least it doesn’t smell terrible on top of being harmful. I can’t even fathom being educated about the effects of second-hand smoke, and still having a complete disregard for smoking in public. How is that ok!??! Grant and I were just talking to our friend about how much we disliked being around people who smoke, and she was saying that she used to be that way, but has become more accepting as of late, and how she feels good about it. I had thought about what she said and considered adopting a new outlook…UNTIL we all went out last night to play a nice game of trivia. It would have been super awesome IF I wasn’t breathing in second-hand smoke for two hours straight. We tried moving our table (to no avail), and I ended up having to breathe through my sleeves to filter out the smoke. It was so shitty, and totally tainted the experience. I’m not just being a prissy-pants either. I actually had a headache after leaving that lasted all night and well into this morning. 

*Takes a (thankfully smoke-free) breath*. There. I said it. There are so many people that smoke down here, that this is probably not a popular opinion, but the fact is: I don’t care if you choose to smoke, just don’t force your poor decisions on the rest of us. Thanks. 

As to end on a positive note: I was sitting out on the front porch the other day and had the windows open. Dulci was sitting in the window with her face pressed against the screen looking so downtrodden. All I could think of was this: 


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Aaaand I’m back. Sort of.

As you may have noticed, I was having a pretty miserable day when I wrote the last post. Well, I’m feeling better. Not amazing, but better. It may have something to do with the fact that it’s currently 74 degrees in our room instead of 51. It always helps when your hands aren’t numb whist typing. 

To improve my mood further, I think I’ll make a list via text/pictures of things that are currently good. Yes, that’s a good idea. 

1. I started a 30 day squat challenge yesterday. So did my mom, she’s doing it with me. See Mom, now the whole internet knows, so you can’t back out. 250 squats, here we cooooome!! 

2. I gots new RAM for my computer. Thanks, Adam! It’s mucho mejor

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3. We went to the grand opening of a vegan BBQ food trailer last night. It was delish. Bonus: bought a bag of white chocolate chips AND mac and cheese (not together) from Rabbit Food Grocery. I see cookies in my future. 

4. Yesterday, I decided to stop and smell the roses….that are outside our back door. 

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5. We have a new clothesline!

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6. We’re growing things. Food things. 

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7. We have a tiny trashcan that four of us don’t even fill up in a week

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8. I’m working on a xmas blanket for my little munchkin man. 

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9. Just Dulcinea.

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10. Ok, this isn’t good, but I just saw this yesterday for the first time. Apparently, it’s been like this since day 1. This is the car port roof. 

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In other news, I applied for 4 jobs the other day, but *gasp* haven’t heard anything back yet. Therefore, if anyone in Austin is reading this and wants an awesome employee that can do just about anything- I’m your gal! 

 


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Not What I Signed up For

Firstly, let me just say that I slept in a sweatshirt and WINTER HAT last night under 3 blankets plus sheets. What in the hell is going on here?! I’ve spent the last two days struggling to maintain my body heat and barely succeeding. This is not what I signed up for. It’s a balmy 57 degrees in our room right now, and our house maybe reached 65 yesterday. In summation, I’m freezing and I don’t like it. We moved here to be warm, and Austin is not holding up its end of the bargain. Grant and I have both been having a hard time adjusting to our new life here (more like conceding that maybe our risk of leaving two good jobs to go play didn’t pay off this time) and the nice warm weather was really the only thing tethering us to our delusions that this was, in fact, a good idea. 

You know what’s better than being able to hang out with friends all the time? Having a job so that you have money so that you can hang out with friends all the time. As my mother (and the back of my mind) predicted, my Utopic vision of what Austin was going to be like wasn’t realistic (are dreams ever?) but the reality of the new job hunt is the real reason for my befuddled and anxious state. I’ve already had to talk Grant down from dropping everything and hightailing it back to Maine once, but a few more grocery trips where I’m nervous to buy the big jar of garlic powder because it’s 2 dollars more, and I might be leading the race. 

Now, in reality, we’re not really going to run away, but more because I can’t stand being a failure than because there’s anything keeping us here. I also know that things will get better and all that proverbial mumbo jumbo, but as of now, I’ll say it with fervor: this sucks. 

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The Whirlwind

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks- first traveling home to Houlton for my Grampy’s (and Nana’s) memorial service, then I was home in Austin for one day when Grant and I left (driving) for Kansas City, MO to attend his Grampa’s funeral. A rough couple of weeks for our families. I’m happy to report, however, that both families seem to be doing just fine, and benefiting greatly from the continuing support of their family and friends. It just so happened that Kansas City is only a few hours from Omaha, where my brother, sister-in-law, and baby nephew live, so we decided to take a short jaunt up here, so that Grant could finally meet Kai! Such a treat to see them again! Here are the last bit of pictures from Houlton, and a few from our impromptu visit to Nebrasky! 

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At home in Bellevue: 

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getting ready for an afternoon walk!

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Runaway baaabbbbyyy!! 😛

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Hear me roar!

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He’s very interested in my key!

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Clean baby post bath-time. Love this handsome little bundle of joy!

Starting our long journey back to Austin tomorrow. See ya on the flip side!


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More From Houlton

So far it’s been a really nice visit home. Grampy (and Nana’s) service was yesterday, which I think went easier for everyone than was maybe expected. I think the more time I spend around my family, the more I realize how important it is for them to be a big part of my life (I’ve always known this, but it’s getting reaffirmed). There really is nothing better than the warm and fuzzy feeling of spending time with the people who know you best. It pains me to no end to think that my brother, his wife, and my new nephew won’t be close. I figure the next time I see Kai he’ll be at least 8 months old. He’ll be sitting up, crawling, have teeth, and be saying words. I want to be the Auntie that is a free babysitter, is the tickle-monster, and is the “mom” you want when your real mom isn’t cooperating, not the Auntie that you see once a year and hope that you don’t receive a lame Christmas present from. When you come from a small family, you’ve got to cling dearly to those you have! Anyway, here’s another flood of pictures of the cutest GD baby I’ve ever laid eyes on: (and some other stuff, too)

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